By: Colleen Bunker, LAc
Fermented vegetables are easy to make, very nutritious and supply the gut with tons of beneficial bacteria that support our intestinal flora, improve digestion and nutrient absorption and boost immunity. Here is the first kimchi recipe I tried, from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions. There are many variations of kimchi and a wonderful world out there of other ferments. If you get inspired, you can check out Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Elix Katz.
- 1 head of nappa cabbage, cored and shredded
- 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
- 1 cup of carrots, grated
- ½ cup daikon radish, grated
- 1 tablespoon freshly ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes (I often use fresh peppers from the farmers market in varying degrees of hotness to suite my tastes)
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt (I use Celtic sea salt – it’s lower in sodium and high in other beneficial minerals)
- 4 tablespoons of whey or you can use an additional tablespoon of salt.
Put all ingredients in a bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer to release their juices. Place mixture in a wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly until juices come above the vegetables, leaving an inch below top of jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before putting in the fridge. Simple! Enjoy!*Whey
- Cheese cloth
- Fine strainer
- Large bowl or pot
- 1 quart of whole milk organic yogurt
Line strainer with 2 layers of cheese cloth and set over a deep bowl or pot. Put yogurt in strainer and leave to drain. I just put whole thing in the fridge and come back later. The liquid that drains off is whey, full of beneficial lactobacilli bacteria that will inoculate your ferments and give them a jump start the fermentation process. It will keep in the fridge for months and can be used to soak grains also. The remaining yogurt is now Greek style yogurt or yogurt cheese. YUM!